Black-Dog Posted January 5, 2012 Share Posted January 5, 2012 Guitar teachers are always telling students to practice. You come in for your lesson having neglected structured studies in favor of jamming to your favorite tunes for the past week, and your teacher looks at you all disappointed that you flubbed an A Dorian scale. But did you really waste your time? Absolutely not. Sure, that teacher can probably rip through every scale in existence in no time, and he probably can torch a lot of guys when trading solos, but practicing scales is not what got him (or her) there. Playing music is what got him there. Some of the world’s best guitarists can’t even play scales, let alone tear up the fretboard with a flurry of modes and weird eastern scales like authoritarian guitar teachers might force upon students. Jimmy Page, the legendary guitarist of the Mighty Led Zeppelin, is one of those players. In an interview with Steve Rosen, he said, “I don’t just sit down and play scales and things. I should have done but I never did. I can’t play a scale. You think I’m kidding but I’m not. I can’t.” This is one of the world’s most beloved guitarists saying that he can’t play ANY scales. He didn’t just say there are some odd scales he’s unfamiliar with. He’s saying he would stumble over a C Major scale. Apparently, you don’t need scales to be able to write or improvise incredible solos, like the many iconic journeys Page takes us on in songs like “Stairway to Heaven” and “Kashmir.” Instead of sitting down and practicing scales or techniques, Page just picks up “the acoustic guitar for a start and it’s usually in a tuning. I sort of change tunings around a bit and I’m searching for new chords and shapes and things.” This isn’t to say that Jimmy Page doesn’t work really hard at exploring the guitar and becoming a better player, he just doesn’t use his time to practice finger patterns, or even to warm up. Although he “can’t play a bar chord. It’s true,” he does “I push [myself] as far as I can go within the instrument at that point in time.” To Page, “It’s just try to do whatever you can do on an instrument and give it 100 percent of what you can do with the time you have to do it.” This revelation about scale playing may come as a surprise from Guitar International, because we post plenty of helpful lessons involving scales and patterns and left hand exercises, but it really all comes down to what kind of player you are or want to be. Jimmy Page is of the “sloppy” guitar school, definitely never classified as a technical player. There are plenty of guitar heroes, like Joe Satriani or Yngwie Malmsteen, who are “technical,” and I’m pretty sure they can play scales. Like, every one of them things. You don’t have to pick a side, or anything. If technicality is a goal, though, hit the practice room. If not, hit the jam session. Learn to play by playing, like Page did. He learned the guitar by playing three recording sessions a day, coming in blind and using his ear. While there might not be a recording studio that will pay to do that, there are always people to jam with, and if there aren’t there is always an iPod. So get jammin’! http://guitarinterna...tice-he-doesnt/ Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.